Gripped by more than five months of mass violence and criminal activities, Hong Kong has been pushed into an extremely dangerous situation.
To bring the violence and chaos to an end is a critical matter, which should tolerate no hesitation or wavering, as it is closely connected to the outlook of the place.
In multiple districts across the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), rioters have been rampantly committing acts of vandalism and arson, paralyzing public transport, trashing rail tracks, hurling petrol bombs at running trains, indiscriminately causing bodily harm to civilians and even turning campuses into battlefields.
In a fresh bout of violence on Sunday, rioters set a Hong Kong police vehicle on fire with patrol bombs and attacked two police officers with arrow and metal ball outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Kowloon.
Such growing havoc wreaked by the rioters has blanketed Hong Kong in fear, with residents now having their personal safety threatened and being deprived of their right to freedom of expression. As a result, the core values of Hong Kong society, including the rule of law, have been gravely undermined.
As Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed while he was attending the 11th BRICS summit in Brasilia, the continuous radical violent activities in Hong Kong seriously trample rule of law and the social order, seriously disturb Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, and seriously challenge the "one country, two systems" bottom line.
If the violence is not stopped and the rule of law is not upheld, there would be no guarantee for the peaceful life of residents, to say nothing of Hong Kong's future development.
For the past five months, HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam has led the HKSAR government to fully discharge its duties, strive to stabilize the situation and improve the social atmosphere. In the meantime, the Hong Kong police have been working fearlessly on the front line sparing no effort in containing violence and quelling the chaos.
Now, at such an urgent point, all circles of Hong Kong society should further build consensus to support Lam in leading the HKSAR government and police to severely punish crimes of violence in accordance with the law, support Hong Kong judicial bodies in performing their duties, so as to bring all criminals to justice.
An editorial published by the People's Daily on Sunday said the combat against violence has evolved into a fight between standing for and against "one country, two systems" principle, a fight between support and infringement of the rule of law, and a fight between protection and disturbance of Hong Kong's prosperity.
It is only through ending violence in accordance with law that the welfare of Hong Kong people can be ensured and that national sovereignty, security and development interests can be protected.
Hong Kong is part of China and its fate is closely linked to that of the motherland. The central government and 1.4 billion Chinese people will always remain the strongest supporters standing behind Hong Kong, ready to help it deal with any risks and challenges.